A group of West Chester students are involved in a film project which discusses diversity and racism called “Still Fighting It.” Most people would only tackle this project to receive credit for a class or an internship, but WCU student Chris Pierdomenico does this sort of thing for fun. Pierdomenico, along with his brother, Dave, and future WCU student, Julie Murphy, maintain their own production company called Philagape.
The idea for their most recent movie came about in 2004, when Pierdomenico saw a movie detailing a play about diversity when he arrived at WCU. Skip Hutson, the Director of Multicultural Affairs, prompted students to address the same issues in their own play. Although Pierdomenico was eager to listen to this advice, he had no knowledge about how to make a play, so he decided to make a movie about diversity instead, because of his experience with WCUTV and film.
He enlisted the help of friends on campus and the people in his production company to help create this project. The first step was to come up with ideas for a screenplay. The group decided on the idea to use an interracial couple as the main theme of the movie. Pierdomenico then took on the gigantic task of turning their ideas into a screenplay, which he says, “was a tough job.”
Filming started in June 2005 and still continues. The deadline for finishing the film is the end of May. Many locations were used as backgrounds of the film such as WCU, downtown West Chester, around Delaware County and 69th Street in Upper Darby.
The lead characters in the movie are WCU alumni Shane Daniels who plays Jay, and WCU students Vy Cu who plays Kiera, and Doug Rowell who plays Randy.
Jay and Kiera are the central figures throughout the movie playing the couple. Randy is Kiera’s stepbrother and also Jay’s college roommate. The main plot involves the conflict between Jay and his family about his relationship with Kierra. Jay’s father served in the military during the Vietnam War and carries a deep hatred of the Vietnamese people. When Jay’s family finds out he is dating a Vietnamese woman, conflict arises.
Although Pierdomenico is an English education major, he views being a teacher as more of a fallback in case his career making independent movies does not pan out. He is realistic in his pursuit to make films, but states he “just loves doing it.”
For more information about this and Pierdomenico’s other products visit www.myspace.com/philagape.